Women's Business: Rebecca Balfour
1st June 2021
My name is Rebecca Balfour, Director of REM Business Solutions a Bookkeeping/BAS Agents firm based in Warwick, QLD. I am a proud Aboriginal businesswoman and a descendant of the Yuggera people. My life has brought significant challenges and changes, after the breakdown of an abusive nine-year marriage, I was a single mother of d two children whilst running my business from home. Life certainly improved in 2015, when I met my now husband Alan. I became Mum to Alan’s two children making our household a busy family of six. My family fully support me in achieving my business goals and in the last eight years business has gone from strength to strength.
As a qualified Accountant/BAS Agent, REM Business Solutions was established in 2008. I took a leap of faith and left my position working for a local accounting firm to setup a bookkeeping business from my home. With one client, little did I know that this leap of faith would grow into the successful business I have today. This life changing decision not only allowed me to work closer with my clients, but it also allowed me to have a work/life balance that enabled me to work around my children so we could have the best of both worlds.
Managing day-to-day finances is imperative to running a successful business, it keeps your business on track and gives you visibility over your business’s cash flow. When it comes to business, there are many things you can effectively outsource but your passion and vision are your own. Handing over the reins of your accounts to a bookkeeper gives you more time to focus on the things that will grow your business. If you are bogged down in reconciling records, there is going to be less time for sales, marketing, strategy, purchasing and execution. As innocent as they may be, mistakes are costly.
A bookkeeper essentially takes all your numbers, receipts, bills, and invoices, and records them correctly into your accounting software. As we utilize cloud-based software, we can service clients Nationwide. The benefit is that your books are up to date, organised and most importantly – accurate which allows you to have access to current financial information. One of the key factors in running a successful business is cash flow. Without visibility over your numbers and profit, you are mostly guessing whether you can afford to take the next steps to grow your business. Our accounting software provides a budgeting feature that allows us to provide budget vs actual financial data, this financial transparency allows you to be proactive about growing your business and ultimately lets you plan and forecast without risky guesswork.
After fourteen years of being in business there have been many changes in our industry and how we perform our job. Cloud based accounting programs have broadened our client base immensely and this year we have been proudly recognized as a Xero Gold Partner.
My business and life have had ups and downs, but this has made me the woman I am today. Who would have thought that being a sole operator in 2008 would lead to owning my own office premises and having team of six.
The passion and drive that started my journey are still well and truly alive. I do not know where the future is going to lead me to but I am willing to grow and learn to see where it takes me. If you follow your heart and spirit you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
“Imagine with all your mind, Believe with all your heart, Achieve with all your might” (This quote has been framed in my office since the day I started in 2008)
“There will always be some sort of challenge you must face everyday, and some may be harder than others. Do not let any tough day make you feel any weaker because your strength is what brought you to where you are today. YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY BE PROUD.”
When starting out in business ensure you obtain financial advice to setup your business structure correctly i.e. Sole Trader, Partnership, Trust or Company. Accountants/Bookkeepers can assist with the application of correct registrations – ABN, GST and if you employ staff PAYG. Have a conversation about accounting programs and see how they can be utilized to have your business starting off on the right foot. Open a separate business bank account, keeping business and personal funds separate. And most important of all keep a copy of every purchase you make for the business to ensure you receive the maximum tax deductions available. These financial fundamentals will place you in good stead to develop and grow your business whilst keeping track of the cash flow and financial information.